Putting A New Spin On An Old Subject to Exercise Your Creativity
I know. You're seeing the same thing, again. That's because I like to go back to places and things that I've already shot -putting a new spin on an old subject.
Do It Again
If you think the idea of shooting the same subject over again is lame or boring, take a look at Murad Osmann's Instagram page. If you don't recognize his name, you'll probably recognize his photos. He's the Russian photographer who created a series of beautiful images around the world as his girlfriend led him around by the hand.
Now that's putting a new spin on an old subject. Not that she's old, but you know what I mean. Most folks would snap a few photos of their girlfriend and that's about it. Murad created an amazing series of the same subject. He has 4.4 million followers who enjoy his photos of roughly the same subject recast in different photos.
Putting A New Spin On An Old Subject
There are a few different ways that you can use for putting a spin on an old subject.
Here is one of the most photographed subjects in my home town area.
This is a very typical shot that most tourist to Epcot take home, right down to the head of some stranger poking up at the bottom.
It serves to document a memory, but it isn't very creative.
You can hit the same subject at different times. Day or night, sunrise or sunset. However, you aren't limited to different times of the day. Try different seasons. I have a friend in West Virginia who loves to shoot the same creek every season. Snow, fall colors, spring bloom, or summertime when it's full of swimming kids. It's different every time.
I don't have a creek, but I do have a Spaceship. One could argue that Florida doesn't have many seasons. Hot and not hot. Hurricane and regular. Of course, different times could be as simple as various times of the day.
Day. Night. Same thing. Different time. Another change, different length of exposure.
Change Your Angle
You don't have to shoot everything straight forward. Get low to make it seem imposing. Shoot it from above, if you can. Move around it.
Changing your angle also means you don't have to shoot all of it.
Change Your Distance
Get closer and only shoot part of the subject. Get far away and include it as part of a scene. You can use your subject any way you want. Think about how many times you've seen a photo with the Eiffel Tower in it. It's part of the cityscape, it's the main subject, it's a close-up on part of the structure. Who says you can't do the same with any other subject?
It may look like a Tori Gate, but Spaceship Earth reminds you where you are.
Change Your Lens
You get a lot of creative capabilities with different lenses. Shallow depth of field or deep focus. Wide angle or telephoto compression. Go macro on part of your subject with focus stacking. Even your minimum focusing distance can have a creative impact on some subjects and how they scale to an environmental scene.
Get tight. Create something abstract. You want to sell prints? Corporate buyers seem to love abstract art.
Change Your Location
Just look at Murad's photos to see the power of shooting the same subject in different locations. Each one stands alone, yet they make an incredible statement as a series.
Change Your Light
You have so many choices, even if your subject is a stationary object outside. Soft light, hard light. Use shadows. Look for different colors. Turn your subject into a silhouette.
Spaceship Earth (again)
You don't have to travel the world in order to see a subject in a different way. You don't even have to create a series. Think of it as a creative exercise. How can you see something that's been done to death in a new way? Putting a new spin on an old subject forces you to see things that most other people miss.
Everyone who visits Epcot takes a picture of Spaceship Earth. It must be the most photographed orb on the planet. With so many images already out there, I try to find ways to a different spin on it.
One way is to watch for reflections from other light shows happening at night. While everyone else was watching the blinking lights, I turned around and saw how they played on Spaceship Earth. Seemed like something different to me.